Twenty-two NBA teams will get the chance to play for a championship this season when the league descends on Orlando for its proposed Bubble League. The idea for the league took shape over the last few weeks, and following the NBA’s Board of Governors approving it by a 29-1 margin on Thursday, the Players Association unanimously approved of the idea. Now, the wheels are in motion for a plan that will see the 16 playoff teams from before the league’s COVID-19 hiatus and six squads on the outside looking in take to Disney World and resume play on, tentatively, July 31.
It’s good news for those 22 squads, but for the eight teams that saw their seasons abruptly end in March, the potential for a monster layoff until the beginning of the 2020-21 season apparently isn’t all that appealing. As such, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that a number of those squads are interested in doing something to get themselves back on the floor.
Fearful of significant setbacks in the development of young players over months of inactivity, several teams left out of this season’s regular-season resumption in Orlando, Florida, have proposed ideas for regional mini summer leagues, training camps and organized team activities, sources told ESPN.
According to Wojnarowski, some of the plans that have been brought up include workouts that would occur in July, “regional minicamps” that would lead to joint practices and televised games in August, and organized team activities in September. Additionally, there’s a desire for training camps to start early heading into next season. The only team Wojnarowski did not mention as “pushing to engage in joint practices as ramp-ups for regional summer leagues in August” is the Golden State Warriors, which is understandable, as they have played a whole lot of basketball over the last few years and could use some sort of extended break.
Both Hawks owner Tony Ressler and Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas mentioned the obvious: If next season begins in early-December, teams that missed out on the bubble league will go nine months without any sort of basketball, which is a remarkably long time to go between games. As such, these various proposals would give them the opportunity to keep from too much rust building up. Whether or not something comes of these various proposals remains to be seen, but it appears there is enough will power to make something happen that we shouldn’t count out the possibility.